FEB 26, 2020 Opens: 6:00 AM PT
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Drug Discovery & Development 2020

LabRoots and the Drug Discovery planning committee are pleased to announce the 3rd Annual Drug Discovery & Development Virtual Conference. LabRoots will host this online-only event on February 26, 2020. The Drug Discovery planning committee will carefully plan and select speakers that best represent the key challenges, opportunities, and issues in the current landscape. These industry leaders will discuss the advancements, challenges and successes of discovery and develop new medications and therapies

The theme for this years event is State of the Art and will include the following tracks and topics:

New Practices in Early Phase Drug Discovery

  • Alternative In-Vitro Approaches
  • Novel In-Vivo Techniques
  • CRISPR-Cas9 as a Drug Discovery Tool
  • Organ-on-a-Chip and 3D Cultures in Screening

Advancement of Biomarkers in Drug Development

  • Liquid Biopsies
  • Precision Medicine
  • PK/PD Modelling and Simulation
  • Receptor Occupancy

Modern Approaches to Clinical Development

  • Case Study Keynote
  • Combination Therapies
  • CAR-T/Immunotherapy
  • Precision Medicine
  • Direct to Patient Clinical Trials

Our virtual conference allows you to participate in a global setting with no travel or cost to you. The event will remain open 6 months from the date of the live event.  The webinars will be available for unlimited on-demand viewing.  This virtual conference also offers increased reach for the global microbiology community with a high degree of interaction through live-streaming video and chat sessions.

Like the 2019 conference, this event will be produced on our robust platform, allowing you to watch, learn and connect seamlessly across all desktop or mobile devices. Equipped with gamification and point system, you can now move around the entire event, earning points for a chance to win one of LabRoots' most popular T-shirts.

Call for Posters — Virtual poster sessions offer the opportunity to present data to a global audience via a PDF poster and video summary, and discuss results with interested colleagues through email. Plan now to have your poster included in the 2020 Drug Discovery & Development Virtual Event. Submission is free. Submit your abstract here.

Continuing Education
LabRoots is approved as a provider of continuing education programs in the clinical laboratory sciences by the ASCLS P.A.C.E. ® Program. By attending this event, you can earn 1 Continuing Education credit per presentation for a maximum of 30 credits.

Use #LRdrug to follow the conversation!


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  • Khyati Shah, PhD
    Post Doctoral Research Scholar at University of California, San Francisco
      Khyati Shah received her Ph.D. in Molecular Pharmacology from the University of the Pacific, Stockton, California. Her graduate research was completed in the lab of Jesika Faridi, Ph.D. Her work focused on the investigation of the mechanism of Akt induced tamoxifen resistance in breast cancer. Currently, Khyati is the research fellow in Bandyopadhyay Lab since 2015. Her project involves investigation of the mechanism of resistance to targeted and immuno-therapy using systems biology approach. She has three-first author publications in the reputed peer-reviewed journals and 7 oral and 15 poster talks on the use of systemic genomics and proteomic approach to design rational combination therapy and to increase the durability of therapeutic response.
    • Erin Edwards, PhD
      Head of Services, Visikol, Inc.
        Erin holds a bachelor's degree from Brown University in Biomedical Engineering and a PhD from Georgia Tech in Bioengineering. With a background in topics ranging from immuno-oncology to cell mechanics, Erin has a passion for using advanced cell culture models to study complex disease mechanisms and evaluate new therapeutics. Erin brings over 8 years of in vitro assay development experience to Visikol as the Head of Services, where she focuses on developing and executing assays to help biotech and pharmaceutical Clients study disease, evaluate therapeutics, and mitigate toxicity risks.
      • Chames Kermi, PhD, PharmD
        Postdoctoral Fellow, Chemical and Systems Biology, Stanford University School of Medicine
          When I obtained my Pharmacist (Pharm. D) degree several years ago, I asked myself what I really wanted to do and what career path would allow me to reach my goals. The answer was clear and obvious in my mind: I wanted to do research and work on understanding cancer development and finding new ways to fight cancer. To this end, I joined the faculty of pharmacy of Montpellier, France, where I obtained a Master's degree in research and development of pharmaceutical drugs. At that time I worked preclinical drug development at Sanofi pharmaceuticals in France. I was in charge of establishing new in vitro/in silico models for study of drugs pharmacokinetics. After that, the next step was to obtain a PhD degree. I joined Dr. Domenico MAIORANO's group in Montpellier, France, and I worked mainly on establishing a functional interaction between the DNA damage tolerance (DDT) and the DNA damage response (DDR) in cells. My work uncovered a novel mechanism responsible for the silencing of the DNA damage checkpoint in early embryos, and explained how translesion DNA polymerases are recruited to DNA damage foci. After a successful PhD concluded by obtaining the Best Young Scientist Award in Cancer research, I joined Professor Karlene Cimprich's lab at Stanford to acquire new experience, new way of working and thinking, and to learn new techniques. Most importantly, this lab is one of top labs in the field of replication stress and replication fork reversal. During my postdoc, I learned new innovative techniques; high-content microscopy (QIBC), single-molecule methods (DNA spreading and DNA combing), high throughput CRIPR-Cas9 genome-wide screening, and bioinformatics. I worked on understanding how cancer cells tolerate replication stress. I am particularly interested in studying several aspects of replication stress in cancer stem cells. This sub-population of cancer cells characterized by its amazingly high resistance to stress inducing agents but the basis for this is unknown. The next step in my career will be going back to biotech company to do a more transnational work in order to discover new innovative therapies to cure/regress cancer. Immune therapy is one of the very promising ways to do that.
        • Salman Khetani, PhD
          Associate Professor, Department of Bioengineering, University of Illinois at Chicago
            Dr. Salman Khetani received his dual Bachelor of Science degrees in electrical engineering and biomedical engineering from Marquette University, and Masters and PhD degrees in bioengineering from University of California at San Diego (UCSD). He was a Jacobs fellow and National Science Foundation graduate fellow at UCSD. After postdoctoral research at MIT in the laboratory of Professor Sangeeta Bhatia, Dr. Khetani co-founded and directed research at Hepregen Corporation to commercialize his bioengineered liver inventions for pharmaceutical drug development. In 2011, Dr. Khetani returned to academia, first to Colorado State University and then in 2015 as associate professor of Bioengineering at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where his 'Microfabricated Tissue Models' laboratory (http://mtm.uic.edu/) designs and implements novel engineered tissues for drug screening, investigations of human diseases, and regenerative medicine. Dr. Khetani's 50+ publications in journals such as Hepatology, Nature Biotechnology, and PNAS have been cited more than 4000 times with an h-index of 30. Lastly, Dr. Khetani's research has been funded over the last 12 years via ~$6M in grants from the NIH, NSF, DOD, FDA, and the NSF CAREER award.
          • Tomasz Kostrzewski, PhD
            Director, Biology, CN Bio Innovations Limited
              Dr Tomasz Kostrzewski is Director of Biology at CN Bio with more than 10 years of experience in molecular and cellular biology research. Prior to joining CN Bio, he worked at Imperial College London in the Department of Life Sciences studying immune cell development and stem cell differentiation. At Imperial College London he completed both an MRes and PhD in the department of Cell and Molecular Biology. He has significant experience in advanced (3D) mammalian cell culture, gene expression analysis and immune cell function. Additionally, he has previous experience of working in biopharmaceutical drug discovery and development with GlaxoSmithKline. In 2017, he was promoted to head of biology at CN Bio and is responsible for biological model development and collaborative research projects. TK has published more than seven peer-reviewed scientific articles in the last three years.
            • Astrid Nörenberg, PhD
              Managing Director, upcyte technologies GmbH
                Astrid studied Biological Engineering (B.Sc.) and Biotechnology (M.Sc.) at the Universities of Applied Sciences in Frankfurt and Darmstadt, Germany, respectively. In her PhD she worked with different cell types of the liver in a spin off Start-up in Heidelberg and continued in the same company in the role of Sales and BD. In 2015 she founded upcyte technologies. The company provides expanded primary cells, media and services for drug discovery. By using the upcyte® protocol non-dividing primary cells are pushed back into proliferation without altering their most relevant tissue-specific characteristics.
              • Rekha Pal, PhD
                Director, Scientific Engagement, Crown Bioscience, Inc.
                  Rekha is a trained cancer biologist with a focus on preclinical cancer therapeutics, immune-oncology, cancer signaling, and tumor microenvironment. She earned her Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Central Drug Research Institute, India. She joined the University of Pittsburgh as a postdoctoral researcher and moved onto research faculty. She has extensively worked in stem cell biology and translational cancer research using patient's blood, tumor and bone marrow samples with a correlation of clinical data for the targeted biomarker identification with the drug treatment. She joined National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel project (NSABP), a clinical trial supportive group to develop strategies for preclinical evaluation of test agents to support NSABP's phase I/II clinical trials for colon and breast cancer. She also led the effort of organoids generation from the PDX tumor tissue to screen drug or drugs combination as personalized medicine. Rekha represented NSABP as a translational research committee member on B-50 Katherine-B027938 Roche study. Rekha role at CrownBio is to direct scientific engagement with pharmaceutical company, academic scientists, and clients. She helps in decision making with goal of high scientific input in study design and model execution. Exchange scientific information for existing and new opportunities between BD and the scientific team, generate protocols, study designs and proposals to define projects/ studies.
                • Andrew Ravanelli, PhD
                  Senior R&D Scientist, Genome and Epigenome Editing, MilliporeSigma
                    Andrew obtained his Ph.D. in Cell Biology from Duke University, where he used mouse and zebrafish models to dissect cellular mechanisms of early tissue formation. He completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine where he used pharmacological and genetic manipulations coupled with 4D imaging to investigate cell fate specification in the brain and spinal cord. Andrew joined MilliporeSigma in 2016 and has been developing novel mechanisms to modulate gene expression using CRISPR-Cas9.
                  • Marc Scheetz, PharmD, MSc, FCCP, BCPS AQ-ID
                    Professor, Midwestern University in the Chicago College of Pharmacy, Director of the Pharmacometric Center of Excellence at Midwestern University
                      Marc Scheetz attained a Doctorate of Pharmacy from Butler University, earned a Masters of Science in Clinical Investigation degree at Northwestern University, and completed his pharmacy practice residency and an infectious diseases fellowship at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Dr. Scheetz is a Professor at Midwestern University in the Chicago College of Pharmacy and holds a joint appointment in the Department of Pharmacology, College of Graduate Studies. Dr. Scheetz is the Director of the Pharmacometric Center of Excellence at Midwestern University. He currently practices clinically as an infectious diseases pharmacist at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in downtown Chicago, IL and serves as the Director for the Post-Doctoral Fellowship Program in Infectious Diseases Pharmacotherapy. Dr. Scheetz has authored a number of original research manuscripts and review articles in the area of anti-infective pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics and currently serves as a reviewer for several infectious diseases, pharmacy, and medical journals. His primary research interest lies in the interface of the pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic interaction (i.e. between antimicrobials, pathogens, and hosts). He is particularly interested in assessing modifiable pharmacologic variables in the treatment of infectious diseases and identifying optimal exposures against the backdrop of toxicity. His group studies toxicology in the laboratory as well as through clinical data modeling. Dr. Scheetz is actively engaged in local and national leadership positions and formerly served as a member of the FDA Antimicrobial Drugs Advisory Committee.
                    • Olivia Stricker, PhD
                      Commercial Business Development Manager, Diapharma Group, Inc.
                        Olivia Stricker earned her PhD from the University of Cincinnati, where she focused much of her time working in cell signaling and immunology assays. After graduating, she left the bench to work for a recombinant protein manufacturer and ultimately acted as their Chief Scientific Officer. In her position there, she explored the needs of the stem cell and immunology markets for purified cytokines, chemokines and growth factors. Now, at Diapharma, Olivia is heading up business development and is working to help commercialize unique biomarkers in the US market. She enjoys Jazzercise, weekend baking and long walks on the beach.
                      • Sebastiaan Trietsch, PhD
                        Chief Technology Officer, Mimetas -The Organ on a Chip Company
                          Bas Trietsch is the CTO and co-founder of MIMETAS. He is co-inventor of the OrganoPlate, optimized it towards a mass manufacturable product and enabled establishment of Mimetas' production facility. He developed the initial tissue models on the OrganoPlate and continues to support model and assay development in the OrganoPlate®. As Chief Technology Officer he currently drives the continued innovation and development of the OrganoPlate, related equipment and cell based products. Bas holds a PhD in biopharmaceutical sciences from Leiden University and co-authored over 40 peer reviewed publications and patents.
                        • Jessica Tuohy, PhD
                          Scientific Product Manager, DiaPharma Group, Inc.
                            Dr. Jessica Tuohy is the Scientific Product Manager for Diapharma's biomarker portfolio, which includes assays for studying liver injury in the context of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, alcoholic hepatitis, metabolic syndrome, and drug-induced liver injury. Jessica received her PhD in Pharmacology from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, where she was trained in mass spectrometry of lipids. She contributed to some of the early work in lipidomics in two research positions - first at Cell Therapeutics in Seattle, and subsequently at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, as part of the LIPID-MAPS consortium. Jessica joined Diapharma in 2005. She spent eleven years as the Western Territory Account Manager with a focus on assays for hemostasis, thrombosis and anticoagulation monitoring before she transitioned to her current role as brand ambassador and technical specialist for the company's hepatology and toxicology product lines. When she is not working, Jessica is busy trying to keep up with her three kids - two human and one furry.
                          • Armin Wolf, PhD
                            Chief Scientific Officer, InSphero AG
                              Armin Wolf is Chief Scientific Officer at InSphero AG in ZH, Switzerland and Professor of Toxicology at the Technical University of Kaiserslautern, Germany. He is an accomplished pharmaceutical R&D executive and board-certified toxicologist with more than 30 years cumulative experience at Novartis and Janssen. Armin offers a first-hand perspective on the challenges facing the pharmaceutical industry
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                            POSTER SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

                            Virtual poster sessions offer the opportunity to present data to a global audience via a PDF poster and video summary, and discuss results with interested colleagues through email. Posters should be submitted as a PowerPoint file. Presentations should incorporate illustrative materials such as tables, graphs, photographs, and large-print text. This content is not peer-reviewed. Submission is free.

                            SUBMIT YOUR ABSTRACT

                            Enter the following information to this Submission Form:

                            • Poster Title
                            • Your Name
                            • Your Institution
                            • Your Email
                            • Abstract describing the poster

                            All submitted abstracts will be reviewed and decisions regarding acceptance will be made as abstracts are received. You will be notified within one week of receipt about acceptance. Further details and registration materials will be provided at that time. You do not have to be present in order to have a poster displayed. Only those abstracts approved by LabRoots may display posters at this event.

                            If accepted, you will also have the opportunity to record a 3-5 minute summary video for each poster. LabRoots will work with each individual to create these videos. Video links and email contact information will be included on each poster displayed.

                            Questions? Email Posters@LabRoots.com

                            LabRoots Policy

                            C.E. Credits

                            The speakers below have been approved for CME, CE, or CEU credits. To redeem your credits, locate the presentation you watched and click on the CME/CE/CEU buttons for further direction. For more general information regarding continuing education, the processes to receive credits, and the accreditation bodies, Click here


                            To download the Program Committee brochure here.

                            • Annette Gilchrist

                              An Associate Professor with Midwestern University, and adjunct faculty member at Northwestern University Dr. Annette Gilchrist has a PhD in Immunology from the University of Connecticut Health Center and a MS in Biochemistry from the University of Connecticut. Previously, she ...

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                            • Matthew Flegal

                              Matt entered the research field over 20 years ago as a lab animal technician at the TSI/Mason contract research facility. He has worked at both contract facilities such as TSI and OREAD Biosafety as well in industry at Pharmacia, Pfizer, and Sanofi-Aventis. During that period he ...

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                            • Khyati Shah

                              Khyati Shah received her Ph.D. in Molecular Pharmacology from the University of the Pacific, Stockton, California. Her graduate research was completed in the lab of Jesika Faridi, Ph.D. Her work focused on the investigation of the mechanism of Akt induced tamoxifen resistance in ...

                              See more See less
                            • Martin Shaw

                              Between 1994-2015 he worked at EKF Diagnostics in Wales (formerly Argutus Medical) where he introduced and promoted a wide range of novel kidney and liver tests, including important biomarkers that are now being evaluated by the IMI (Innovative Medicines Initiative) and FDA as ...

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                            • Matthew Shipton

                              Leading Novabiosis' primary cell business, Matthew brings to the Company a skill for implementing sales-driven business strategies, an extensive track record of meeting and surpassing targeted sales objectives, and a passion for translating customer needs into solutions that ...

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